Congress vs. the BCS. What’s next?

It’s another Fantastic Friday and once more the floor is open to you. No subject is off limits as long as it’s clean. Here are five reasonably interesting topics to get our conversation going:

1. Congress  vs. the BCS. What’s next? Bill Hancock, the BCS Executive Director, sent a letter yesterday responding to inquiries from senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Max Baucus (D-Montana) about the way the BCS determines its champion and distributes the money, which will be about $125 million per year in the next four-year cycle.

Hancock was polite and answered all questions. But basically he told the Senators that they had more important things to worry about: “While I appreciate your interest, I believe that decisions about college football should be made by university presidents, athletics directors, coaches and conference commissioners rather than by members of Congress.”

Zing.

Hatch, upset when undefeated Utah did not get a shot at the 2008 national championship (while No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 2 Florida did), fired back with a statement released from his office: “Today, the BCS simply confirmed what most fans of college football have known for some time, that the BCS system is biased, secretive, and harmful to schools and competitors.

“No one wants to see Congress get involved here, including me. But if this response is any indication, there may not be any other option.”

Another Zing.

Now remember what I told you earlier in the week. The more and more outside forces like Congress push, the more and more the big conferences may decide to give up on any kind of post-season structure after the next four-year cycle.

The smart people I know who are handicapping this thing tell me that if expansion comes, the odds are better that the conferences will go back to the traditional bowl structure (Big Ten, Pac-10 in the Rose, SEC in the Sugar, ACC in the Orange, etc.) than forming any kind of playoff.

It is going to be an interesting summer.

 

2. Lane Kiffin is making $4 million at USC. Seriously? Seriously. Nothing really surprises me anymore but when HBO and ESPN reported that Kiffin, who has won exactly seven games as a college head coach during a cup of coffee at Tennessee, would be making $4 million at USC that surprised me. A couple of things in play here: USC was obviously in no mood to fool around last January when Pete Carroll bolted for the Seattle Seahawks. AD Mike Garrett needed somebody who knew how the program works and would say yes if the number on the table was big enough. Also remember that agent Jimmy Sexton (see Nick Saban, Houston Nutt) is one of the best when it comes to convincing a school that his guy is the one they need and this is the number that it will take to get him. Sexton sold USC on the future. The guy is good.

 

3. Assistant coaches deserve every penny they get:  Remember back in the summer of 2008 when the SEC did its $3 billion TV deal with CBS and ESPN? I told you at the time that a lot of that new money would be spent to hire and retain the best coaches for this league. It is no coincidence that a bunch of coordinators in the SEC have now cashed in.

David Jones of Florida Today points out that a year ago only two SEC assistants were making more than $500,000. Since then Alabama DC Kirby Smart has had his pay doubled to $700,000. Georgia had to pony up and pay Todd Grantham $750,000 to get him away from the Dallas Cowboys. More than one school came after South Carolina DC Ellis Johnson and he got his salary doubled to $700,000. Auburn OC Gus Malzahn got bumped up to $500,000. Derek Dooley had to pay Justin Wilcox $600,000 to leave Boise State and become the new DC and Tennessee. And so it goes.

The money is there and the agents who represent these coaches know it. And what do you do if you’re an athletics director like South Carolina’s Eric Hyman? His business sense tells him he can’t pay $700,000 for an assistant football coach but if Steve Spurrier says he has to have Johnson running his defense (and he does), what are you going to do? You’re going to pay it.

 

4. You gotta give Boise State credit. They play people: The Broncos have 21 of 22 starters coming back from a 14-0 team. They will travel all the way across the country to open the season on Sept. 6 against Virginia Tech in Landover, Md. On Sept. 25 they will host Oregon State, which will be in a lot of preseason Top 25s. Next season Chris Peterson and his gang will open the season at Ole Miss. Boise State was told a while back that in order to get into the national championship discussion it would have to go on the road and beat people that are supposed to be better than them. Rather than complain about a perceived injustice as a program in a league without an automatic qualifier, Boise rolled up their sleeves and improved the schedule. Same goes for TCU, which went on the road and beat Virginia and Clemson last season.

 

5. Please say a prayer for the Beamer family: Cheryl Beamer, the wife of Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer, was seriously injured in a fall at their second home at Lake Oconee. According to media reports, Cheryl Beamer fell when she was carrying one of her grandchildren and tripped over a family pet and could not break her fall.  She was rushed to Athens Regional Hospital where she had pins inserted in both legs. She also suffered six broken ribs and a broken collarbone. Virginia Tech Sports Information Dave Smith told the Raleigh News & Observer that the child was not seriously injured.

Frank Beamer, set to enter his 23d season at Virginia Tech, suffered a fall two weeks ago getting off a plane in Roanoke. He’ll need surgery this summer to repair a torn tendon in his right bicep.

 

Have a great weekend.

Please follow me on Twitter:

www.twitter.com/MrCFB

385 comments Add your comment

Old Dawg

May 21st, 2010
12:42 pm

Other than his ego, does Lane Kiffin have any fans?

Clarification

May 21st, 2010
12:46 pm

Borderline collusion? Should congress step in here too and make the big schools play Boise? If they don’t want to play Boise, that’s their right.

Personally, I think Boise’s claim that no one wants to play them is bogus, and is simply PR to get people feeling sorry for them. Fresno State was scaring the hell out of BCS schools in the early part of the 2000’s, and they never had problems scheduling multiple big teams a year, and they continue to do so to this day. I think there’s just as much foot dragging on BSU’s part as there is trepidation on the part of BCS teams.

Also, LOL @ Tony for giving Boise so much credit in scheduling a game with freaking MISSISSIPPI. Were Iowa St and Illinois not available?

Clarification

May 21st, 2010
12:57 pm

Also, why do people talk about the BCS system like it’s the devil and everything that’s wrong with CFB? It’s BETTER than what proceeded it, when we had no guaranteed matchup of #1 vs #2. The mid-major conferences have profited more from bowls than ever before because of the BCS. Furthermore, the only reason we’re even having these arguments about Boise, Utah, etc, to begin with is because the BCS system gave these teams a chance to shine in major bowl games, which they never would have gotten in the old system.

Not saying the BCS is perfect, but I don’t get all the hatred and anger towards it. The “problems” people are identifying (no real champion or playoff, exclusion of mid-major teams) existed decades before the creation of the BCS. If anything, the BCS has improved these upon these situations.

Greg

May 21st, 2010
12:59 pm

Just shows you how totally screwed up Washington is…..why would a member of congress actually take the time to even address something as stupid and biased as the BCS. Both Washionton and the people who run the BCS are a bunch of idiots.

HugoStiglitz

May 21st, 2010
1:01 pm

No congress shouldnt force big teams to play Boise St. They should force college football to have a championship system where more then 10 teams have a chance to win the championship every year. With a playoff, Boise’s weak schedule shouldnt matter because they would have to prove themselves anyway.

The way it is now, BCS teams can basically just refuse to play Boise St and therefore make it impossible for Boise St to play for a MNC. According to the Boise St athletic director and WAC commissioner there were over 10 undisclosed BCS teams that turned them down. Thats fine and its the schools choice but Boise St shouldnt be penalized for it.

dawgs01

May 21st, 2010
1:01 pm

I hope lane kiffen loses evry game at USC, but they have to much talent hell i could coach them and they would win at least 8 games off talent alone and the pac 10 schedule. I hope VA Tech crushes Bosie State so i dont have to listen to the college gameday crew talk about how good they are all yr just to watch them get crushed in National Championship Game (i would not even want to watch Boise State vs. whoever) TCU beat clemson and virginia wow those are monumental wins.

somewhereinga

May 21st, 2010
1:10 pm

For someone who saw this one the “front page” and then clicked on it, there is nowhere in the article telling my wife what the “BCS” is. “Under what branch of the government is it?” She inquired?

Mark "Crimson Crier" Ingram

May 21st, 2010
1:12 pm

With the Obama’s and Democratic controlled Congress’ 17% real unemployment rate, they need to be worrying about bringing jobs to the US and keeping jobs in the US and not tinkering with the BCS!

Preston

May 21st, 2010
1:17 pm

I love college football with a passion but it’s kind of like watching a movie and having it cut off right before the climax. Until there’s a playoff, it will always seem like there’s unfinished business.

1eyedJack

May 21st, 2010
1:22 pm

Exactly when has Congress or the Government, for that matter, ever “fixed” ANYTHING? Usually, they only make things worse. You want to talk about 500 guys and gals who have never played any sport other than grab all the cash and power you can…that’s them.

BrokeBackJacket

May 21st, 2010
1:25 pm

I am sure I will be corrected by all the “know it alls” on here…and if I am wrong i welcome and await corrections……BUT……just how much public funds and tax money (government money) is paid to the BCS? Bowl games? The Athletic programs at the 119 Div. 1 football programs and atheltic departments?

Until the GOVERNMENT is vested in college football…they should do what they are elected to do..and when it comes to any and all things college football related, they should STFU!!!!!!!!!!

GeezusDawg

May 21st, 2010
1:26 pm

ryguy

May 21st, 2010
1:26 pm

Prayers go out to the beamer family. Hope for a speedy recovery ms. beamer. And frank, I hope you get the hookies ready to play boise come 9/6.

Anti-alternative

May 21st, 2010
1:27 pm

As a Georgia Tech man, I’ve come to disdain VPISU and those Hokies worse than anyone save maybe a ‘Hoo or two. But Frank Beamer is a landmark upon the modern college football landscape. He built that program from “Where’s VT and what’s a Hokie?” to “I sure wish we didn’t have to play ‘em at Lane this year!”. He’s always had my respect, and I’m praying for his wife’s speedy recovery!

Go Jackets!

Anti-alternative

May 21st, 2010
1:35 pm

Broke Back Jacket, while I find your handle awkward, I agree with your political statement. Now, some of those schools are publicly funded, but when it comes to a school’s Athletics Dept. by and large it is not getting much if any money from the state. I agree. It’s private sector all the way on this one. There’s still a war, recession, and dern yankees to deal with at the moment. Too much work to be worrying about college sports!

Simple Solution

May 21st, 2010
1:45 pm

Why not add a 4-team playoff after to bowls? Revert to the old system and then take the winners of the Rose, Fiesta, Sugar and Orange. I understand the bowls are afraid that with more neutral site games in a playoff they might not travel to the bowls. So instead of neutral sites simply have #1 and #2 host home campus games against #3 and #4. Play the (finally legitimate) title game at 100,000 seat Jerry Jones Stadium in Dallas. It would be as big as the Super Bowl and tickets just as hard to get a hold of, so the 4 BCS bowls shouldn’t get hurt. That’s an 8-team playoff with only adding 3 games. A Plus Three.

Clarification

May 21st, 2010
1:58 pm

Hugo, I wonder how many BCS teams Boise has turned down. Of course they’re not going to be forthcoming about that, are they? Also, I wonder what terms Boise was asking for with these BCS teams that turned them down.

As for Boise’s being “penalized” for being in the WAC, that is just the nature of being in a mid-major conference. If Boise continues its success, then perhaps it will move up the food chain into the Pac-10 at some point. The thing about Boise is that the very reason they’re so high in the polls is ENTIRELY because they’re in a mid-major conference, and a weak one at that.

Being in the WAC is like a free ride for Boise. Play a WAC schedule, only have to get up for one or two middling BCS teams a year, hire a PR firm to whine about how the big ones won’t play you, and voila… BCS bowl at the end of the year. They can be undefeated and in the “discussion” every year. Why would they want to mess with that?

To the contrary, I think it’s utter BS that Boise might be able to cheese its way into the BCS championship game this year just by beating a VT team with the fewest returning starters in the ACC, and an good, but not great, Pac-10 team in Oregon St. That’s your hated BCS system at work. A team like Boise would have NO CHANCE in a 16-team/4 game playoff, but if they get into a one-game situation like the BCS Championship, anything could happen.

WAC Stuck

May 21st, 2010
2:00 pm

I am amazed how many absolutely stupid & uninformed comments are posted here.

Tide Rising

May 21st, 2010
2:02 pm

Congress getting involved in the BCS? Is there anything Congress hasn’t screwed up? Let’s see Social Security is broke, Medicare is now broke, the nation as a whole is broke, etc. And now they’re threatening to screw up college football?

Boise state playing a hard schedule? They play a 2 game schedule essentially with VT and Oregon State. Maybe 3 with Fresno State which is the 1 other decent team in their conference.

Orrin Hatch- I respect the heck out of Utah for kicking us in the seat of our pants in the sugar bowl. And I think the Mountain West is a lot better than people give them credit for and certainly better than Boise’s conference. But the reality is that they don’t play a bcs conference schedule week in and week out.

Winning one big game against one bcs conference opponent is good but it doesn’t make a case for getting screwed out of the bcs title game. Want proof? Utah’s own coach had voted Utah as either the 5th or 6th best team in the country in the last poll before the bcs and bowl pairings had been announced. Your own coach didn’t think you were one of the top 2 teams in the country and really not even one of the top 4 or 5. It was only after the Alabama upset that you started whining about the BCS title game selection process.

When you,like Boise, have to play BCS conference caliber opponents on a more frequent basis then I’ll take you seriously in terms of being in the bcs title game. You deserve a bcs bowl and I’m cool with that. But the bcs title game after a season long cream puff schedule or a 2 game schedule that Boise will have this year? Nope.

I pray Frank Beamer’s wife has a full recovery. He is one of the classiest guys in college football. I would have liked to bitch smacked Lane Kiffin when he totally disrespected Beamer at the end of the Peach Bowl. On that same note if USC wants to foolishly pay this clown 4 million then so be it. They will eventually learn what UT fans already know.

Tide Rising

May 21st, 2010
2:04 pm

I know one thing. Boise will certainly decline another trip to Athens.

Jeff

May 21st, 2010
2:15 pm

I wonder if congress understand how angry people really are??? I wonder if the lame slime that run the BCS wonder how fed up we are as well…..Congress and the BCS deserve each other- no bigger bunch of losers anywhere

Delbert D.

May 21st, 2010
2:16 pm

Sorry, Mr. Kiffin. $4 million will get you a 3BR ranch with drive-under garage in the Hollywood hills.

Some magazine did a survey last year on the most expensive homes owned by professional athletes. The top guy (they said) was Matt Geiger, $25 million-plus in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Yeah, the ex-Ga. Tech center. 28,000 sq.-ft., main house, 330,000 gallon pool, 5,200 sq.-ft. guest house, 40 TVs. Unfortunately, he re-listed it this February at $16.9. It has been as low as $12.5 million last year.

Beauvighn

May 21st, 2010
2:32 pm

The only argument the BCS people have to congress is ,” You have bigger things to worry about Yada yada yda.” In essence, the BCS is probably THE most political entity in the Country. I am for what ever will expedite a playoff whether it be by Congressional mandate or what. Bring some viable data to the table BCS instead of the same old song and dance.

RxDawg

May 21st, 2010
2:35 pm

“I know one thing. Boise will certainly decline another trip to Athens.”

Hehe, darn right!

I still remeber all the hype of that game, the media tried to turn into the early season heavy weight title fight. Boise didn’t stand a chance. That’s typicaly how it’s going to be for them against the high recruiting big boys. I really hope VaTech whips Boise, not because I dislike Boise, but because I know they do not deserve to be ranked in the top 5 and have talk about them playing for the national championship. Not with that schedule.

RxDawg

May 21st, 2010
2:37 pm

Sigh, I can never type remember out right. I always forget the 2nd “m”. That part of my brain is just closed off I guess.

HugoStiglitz

May 21st, 2010
2:38 pm

If Boise St and TCU and Utah are so terrible and deserve no chance to play with the almighty BCS teams then they should be moved out of the FBS to a division where they are allowed to compete for a championship. Actually to take it a step further there should be a new division created that contains about 10-20 teams who are the ones normally given a chance to win a championship. These teams can battle it out for the voters championship. The rest of the teams can reorganize and have a playoff that will be a true NCAA championship. Its a win win for everyone.

Anti-alternative

May 21st, 2010
3:02 pm

What if the AQ conferences worked like European soccer leagues? If you’re Washington State and have finished as the last team in your conference you are shifted (in football) to play in the WAC or MAC while the WAC or MAC champion took your spot. You get back in, obviously, by winning your new division. And, technically, you’re not leaving behind your theoretical shot at the MNC, just playing for your right to be in the AQ-bid club. The way I see it, that’d put some real fire under teams like Duke, Vandy, Wash St, Iowa St, etc that non-AQ teams like Utah, TCU, and Boise say they’re better than. It also shuts the Boise’s of the world up when they’d get a football season in the Pac-10 or Big Ten (whoever would partner with their cuurent conf.), get nowhere close to the championship game, and if they do terribly enough end right back up where they are. If nothing else, it makes things more interesting which might raise the stakes and ratings.

Jethro

May 21st, 2010
3:07 pm

2008 Final Strength of Schedule rankings :
National Champs.net :
#15 – Florida
#27 – Oklahoma
#96 – Utah
Congrove Computer Rankings :
#1 – Oklahoma
#4 – Florida
#76 – Utah
USA Today :
#4 – Florida
#7 – Oklahoma
#56 – Utah

2009 Final Strengh of Schedule rankings :
Congrove Computer Rankings
#6 – Texas
#8 – Alabama
#88 – Boise State
#89 – TCU
USA Today :
#2 – Alabama
#38 – Texas
#60 – TCU
#96 – Boise State

#1 BAMA FAN

May 21st, 2010
3:12 pm

Biased, secretive and harmful…..I thought he was talking about Congress. Prayers for the Beamer family, Frank is a class act. RTR

Anti-alternative

May 21st, 2010
3:15 pm

Also, over time it a conference league swapping structure like that might naturally realign conferences in more sensible ways. Imagine an SEC where Houston or La Tech has played their way in after a strong year (kicking, say Vandy or MSU down to C-USA for a season) and is creating a huge buzz among LSU’s NOLA TV market?

And if the annual prize for the FCS champion was a spot in a non-AQ FBS league then over time you could even have teams rise into BCS contention naturally without red tape or complaining…just play your way on up there. Where would Georgia Southern’s FCS championships have taken them?

GO HEELS

May 21st, 2010
3:16 pm

My prayers are with the Beamer family… Hope all is well

Sam

May 21st, 2010
3:31 pm

I could live with the old format. Might like to see ChickFilA step up and get the SEC team away from the Sugar Bowl.

Bo

May 21st, 2010
3:36 pm

Anti-alternative, that is an interesting scenario that you bring up. Although, it would be hell to schedule the games for 119 teams like that every year. Also, the bowls wouldn’t likely be on board with that type of arrangement. You’d also have to decide which conference is higher ranked than another AND you’d have to force ND and the other independents to join one.

pat sulley

May 21st, 2010
3:38 pm

that moron head of the BCS said a playoff will not work in college football. Ummmm a playoff is USED in college football. Just not D1A college football

[...] chime in against the BCS Do they really not have anything better to do in Washington instead? Congress vs. the BCS. What’s next? | Mr. College Football There is also a little excerpt under the one about congress about Kiffin. [...]

Ron Mexico

May 21st, 2010
3:39 pm

“04 Auburn team scheduled 2 Div 1-AA teams.”

Bama had three last year………

Tide Rising

May 21st, 2010
3:53 pm

Ron Mexico,

Wrong. Bama played one double AA opponent last year. Not 3. We played 4 teams in the top 10 Fla, Texas, VT, LSU, and 2 in the top 4. We played and beat 10 bowl teams and 10 teams with winning records, a feat which has never been accomplished.

Jethro

May 21st, 2010
3:07 pm
2008 Final Strength of Schedule rankings :
National Champs.net :
#15 – Florida
#27 – Oklahoma
#96 – Utah
Congrove Computer Rankings :
#1 – Oklahoma
#4 – Florida
#76 – Utah
USA Today :
#4 – Florida
#7 – Oklahoma
#56 – Utah

2009 Final Strengh of Schedule rankings :
Congrove Computer Rankings
#6 – Texas
#8 – Alabama
#88 – Boise State
#89 – TCU
USA Today :
#2 – Alabama
#38 – Texas
#60 – TCU
#96 – Boise State

Anti-alternative

May 21st, 2010
3:58 pm

Bo, I don’t mean you’d place BCS-AQ conferences in ahierarchy…they’re the “Top 6″ (unless they realign). The non-AQ conferences would each partner with a Top 6 conference. Under them would be the entirety of the FCS.

So let’s say early 2000’s Georgia Southern wins the FCS, right? Maybe they move up to the C-USA and the last place C-USA team is now an FCSer. Then say GSU storms the C-USA and moves up to whomever the C-USA is partnered with – let’s say the ACC. So now Duke or Maryland is a C-USA team while GSU takes their spot, wins the Atlantic Division, wins the ACCCG and plays for the MNC. That’s a rags-to-riches time of 3 seasons flat.

To make it safer and slower I’d say have a probationary period where if you move up from FCS to FBS non-AQ or non-AQ to AQ and after a season you go less than .500 then you’re back to your old spot and Duke or whomever you displaced is restored to their old spot even if they went 0-12 in the non-AQ league.

pat sulley

May 21st, 2010
4:01 pm

You CANNOT take away the effort Ala used to win a BCSNC last year. You cant go 14-0 and play in the SEC (unless your Auburn) and not be good (great).

East Cobb Hokie

May 21st, 2010
4:02 pm

First, thanks to all for the caring comments about Beamers’. They are class folks, regardless of how your team fared against the Hokies on the field.

Re BCS-most fans of the college game do not go to the games, but watch them on TV. A playoff does not require any effort on their part. My family goes to all (except Duke in Durham) home and away regular season, and championship/bowl games. But we have plenty of time to plan, etc. Making a road trip with 1 (or even 2) weeks notice is almost impossible logistically and is very expensive. That’s why I am not in favor of a playoff, but would like to see a +1 BCS game to avoid a 2004 Auburn situation.

Anti-alternative

May 21st, 2010
4:07 pm

Oh, and when kicking around ideas like this I leave ND out in the cold. Who cares what an independent wants in a world full of conferences? They want to be independent – let them. The BCS doesn’t have to give them crap.

Gen Neyland

May 21st, 2010
4:11 pm

Sulley : You laid the groundwork earlier applying criteria to prayer. Just asking where you learned do do so.

Lane Kiffin’s salary will be investigated by the federal goverment’s RICO squad right after the NCAA’s Strong Arm Committee, working in conjunction with Eric Holder get done with their (wink-wink) probe into USC west. O Hatch will ask that 1/2 of Kiffin’s salary to be given to the Utah Utes on the basis of fairness. President Obama told Hatch he has nothing to fear saying, ” We’ll just get us one of them bailouts for Utah football, man. Jus’ chill Bro O.”…

Tide Rising

May 21st, 2010
4:14 pm

General,

USC is being probed? I hope that means Land Kiffin gets probed to. And by a big one.

Anti-alternative

May 21st, 2010
4:14 pm

Gen Neyland, two thumbs up! Your Obama talks like a frat-daddy at a party school.

LOL at Pat Sulley

May 21st, 2010
4:27 pm

Doesn’t even know the difference between “your” and “you’re”. It is never too late for a GED son.

Forrest Gump is the most famous bama grad

May 21st, 2010
4:29 pm

“Wrong. Bama played one double AA opponent last year. Not 3. We played 4 teams in the top 10 Fla, Texas, VT, LSU, and 2 in the top 4. We played and beat 10 bowl teams and 10 teams with winning records, a feat which has never been accomplished.”

LOL!!!!!! Yeah, UT Chattanooga, Texas State and FL International were all powerhouses!!!!

“a feat which has never been accomplished.”

Uh…..you may want to do your homework before spouting off your hillbilly mouth, ma’am.

bamaguy

May 21st, 2010
4:30 pm

I am much more worried about my tanking 401k than I am about the BCS and anyone’s strength of schedule. I think the letter back to the Senator hit the nail right on the head.

Forrest Gump is the most famous bama grad

May 21st, 2010
4:31 pm

bamaguy

Amen, brother.

wxwax

May 21st, 2010
4:39 pm

Everyone’s focused on the money.

Everyone except the fans, who want to see a legitimate on-the-field competition for the best college football team in the country.

That’s a huge disconnect, one which ensures that the sniping and grousing about college football will never go away.

If Jim Delany is tired of the criticism now, just wait ’til they go back to a pure bowl system.

T'VILLE DAWG

May 21st, 2010
4:44 pm

If the Utahs of the world want to play with the big boys they should at least have a conference playoff to elevate the top team from their conference, what do I know they might have already. It’s still like Alabama of last year against a high school team. Sure they had that great game against bama the year before, but if only happens once in a while it’s a fluke.